A TV Journalist Who’s Trying to Avoid Being Caught Dead in Wyoming with Patricia McLinn
Former newspaper editor and multi-genre author Patricia McLinn lets the muses guide her when she writes her books.
I confess that as a writer I don't have nearly as much confidence as today's podcast guest, Patricia McLinn. This interview was fascinating for me because Patricia shares a bit about her writing process, which does not involve outlines and planning - even when she's writing mysteries!
Patricia also writes romance, but today we're focused on her Caught Dead In Wyoming series. Book 6 in the series, Back Story, will be published in October 2017, and in the meantime you can start at the beginning of journalist, and amateur sleuth, Elizabeth Danniher's story with Sign Off, which is free in ebook form right now.
You can find out more about today's guest, Patricia McLinn, and all her books on her website PatriciaMcLinn.com. You can also find her on Twitter @PatriciaMcLinn.
Click on any of the book covers to go to Patricia's books on Amazon.
Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.
You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Transcription of Interview with Patricia McLinn
Alexandra: Hi, mystery readers, I'm Alexandra Amor. This is "It's A Mystery" podcast and I'm here today with Patricia McLinn. Hi, Patricia.
Patricia: Hello, how are you today?
Alexandra: Very well. How are you?
Patricia: I'm doing great.
Patricia: And it's a good day.
Alexandra: Excellent. Well, let me introduce you to all of our listeners.
Patricia McLinn is a "USA TODAY" bestselling author of more than 40 novels, mostly romance and mystery. The readers and reviewers cite for their warmth, wit, and strong characters. She has spoken on writing for Melbourne, Australia to Washington DC, including being a guest speaker at The Smithsonian.
She always wanted to write novels but took a detour into practicality with a journalism career that included more than 20 years as an editor in the Washington Post. It was great training, not to mention giving her lots of material for her characters in the "Caught Dead in Wyoming" mystery series which we're going to talk about today, which features her fish out of water sleuth TV journalist Elizabeth Margaret Danniher.
The sixth book in this series, Back Story is available for preorder now and will be out late October 2017 as long as Patricia keeps her nose to the grindstone.
Today we are gonna talk mostly about the "Caught Dead in Wyoming" series but you have a fantastic story on your website about the first book you ever wrote.
It's the wallpaper paste story and I wondered if you could tell our listeners about that, please.
Patricia: I would be happy to. I tried previously and always I would start at the beginning and I'd get a couple of chapters in and then I didn't know what was going on. But this one story really... And I give up. And my sister-in-law said she would never read anything from me again that wasn't finished because she would get involved in these stories and I'd go, "I don't know what happened."
I started this story and I was working at my house, a 1948 Post World War II house, outside of Washington DC. And it had layer upon layer of wallpaper. Layer of paint, then wallpaper, paint, wallpaper, paint, wallpaper, paint. In some rooms, I had six layers.
And the only way to get it off was with a wide-bladed putty knife. So I would go and chip wallpaper and there's not a lot to think about while you're chipping wallpaper. So the story would start coming.
I'd put down the wide-bladed putty knife and go write for a while. And then I'd sort of run out of my headlights, you know, I couldn't see any further with the story so I'd go back to the wide-bladed putty knife and the chipping the wallpaper. And I'd go back and forth and back and forth.